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Most protests genuine: Mahlangu

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Copy of service delivery protest

INLSA

Service Delivery protest on Strandfontein road, Grassy Park. Picture: Brenton Geach

Cape Town - Most service delivery protests are driven by a need for urgent intervention by the government, NCOP chairman Mninwa Mahlangu said on Thursday.

“In the protests, always, there's a mixture of things,” he told reporters after a two-day seminar on local government in Cape Town.

“You might find a bit of politics, you might find hooligans there, but generally you do find that what people are complaining about are the issues we need to, or government needs to address.”

The seminar was hosted by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the SA Local Government Association (Salga).

Mahlangu said NCOP members mostly watched protest action “from afar”, unlike local councillors, but regularly received reports following oversight visits.

“Some of the reports show these are genuine protests where it's really clear that people don't have the services they need, be it water, the question of roads or tariffs or so on. They protest on these things,” Mahlangu said.

On Wednesday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille laid criminal charges against the ANC Youth League for allegedly threatening to make the city ungovernable.

“This threat comes against the backdrop of a number of violent service delivery protests that have taken place in the city in recent days,” Zille said.

On Friday, the Dullah Omar region of the African National Congress Youth League delivered a memorandum to Zille's office on behalf of itself, the ANC, the ANC Women's League, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association, and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations.

Zille said the memorandum contained a threat on the fifth page, which read: “We demand that the above-mentioned demands be positively responded to within seven working days. Failure to do so (and) the young people and the above-mentioned stakeholders will make this city and province ungovernable! Amandla!”

Zille's spokesman Zak Mbhele said the organisations were protesting about a range of issues which included education, the youth wage subsidy, transport, and land.

In May, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi warned that politics was at play in some service delivery protests. - Sapa


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